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Property owners in France may be able to evict non-paying tenants more easily
The article adopted last month by the Assembly National, with 154 votes to 50, aims to speed up legal proceedings in rental disputes by systematically including in lease contracts a “automatic termination clause”. The measure allows a landlord to unilaterally terminate the lease of a tenant in the event of unpaid rent, without initiating legal action, within the framework of the examination of an anti-squats bill. Making it possible to obtain an eviction of the tenant more quickly.
This highly criticized “antisquat” bill includes the possibility that the judge may suspend this clause, provided that the tenant requests it. This exception, supported by the left and the government on this point, wanted the judge to be able to take action to suspend this clause, without a request from the tenant, to take into account situations of fragility. But the amendment to this effect was rejected.
The Assembly also adopted another article of the text that reduces the minimum period between a summons and the holding of a hearing, aimed at accelerating the contentious procedure for rental disputes. During the committee hearing, the average duration of all the procedures – from the first unpaid bill to the departure of the occupants – “between 24 and 36 months”. “It is a law of social regression which deserves to be renamed “anti-tenant law”, launched MP LFI Danielle Simonnet.
Despite opposition from the left and associations, the bill could be adopted with the LR and RN votes. Backed by the Renaissance and Horizons groups (presidential majority), the text proposes in particular to triple the penalties incurred by squatters up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000€.
According to the opinion published by the Defender of Rights Claire Hédon, the proposed reform “fails to guarantee a necessary balance between the rights of illegal occupants and those of owners. Strengthening the criminalization of unlawful occupancy, or relaxing eviction procedures for unpaid rent, is neither necessary nor proportionate,” she adds. What could a balance look like? We will have to wait and see the fate of renters and owners in the future.